Pancakes

5 October 2022

Pancakes, flapjacks, hotcakes, griddle cake, crepes, blini, boxty, latke, and so many other names.  Sometimes the difference is just regional names for the same item, but often it is the combination of ingredients that determines what you call them.

Some cooks prefer to use buttermilk instead of regular milk or using oil in place of butter.  You can also use cake flour in lieu of all-purpose flour for a fluffier texture.

If your pancakes are not rising to your satisfaction, check to be sure that your leavening agent (usually baking soda or powder or both) has lost its oomph.  Incorporate a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to react with the leavening and make the pancakes more tender.  Substituting some liquid with carbonation (seltzer or even a soft drink) will create air bubbles making the finished product lighter and will accommodate vegans as well.  If you sift your dry ingredients together before mixing, it will lighten the batter somewhat.  It will also disperse the leavening more evenly.

If you are going to include some add-ons like blueberries or chocolate chips, sprinkle them after you have poured the batter on the griddle.  Adding them earlier can make the goodies sink to the bottom of the batter resulting in uneven portions.  Your finished product will also be more visually pleasing.

 

Crêpes Suzette

Ingredients:

Crêpes:

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

Orange Sauce:

  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ¼ cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For Serving:

  • ¼ cup orange liqueur
  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions:

Crêpes:

  • Combine milk, water, eggs, sugar, and salt in a blender; blend on medium speed until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add flour and blend until smooth, about 5 more seconds. Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter and orange zest; pulse until incorporated, about 3 (1-second) pulses. Cover blender and place in refrigerator; let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Remove crêpe batter from fridge. Heat a small (6-inch) nonstick skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the melted butter and swirl to coat skillet. Add 2 tablespoons batter and swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until the bottom is lightly golden, and the top is still a little moist, about 1 minute. Swirl skillet to loosen crêpe and gently flip with a spatula and your fingers. Cook until golden, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining butter and batter.

Sauce:

  • Combine orange juice, sugar, and orange zest in a small skillet over medium. Cook, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved and the liquid starts to bubble, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually add the butter, piece by piece, stirring constantly, until it is melted and fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Let sauce come to a simmer and let simmer until slightly syrupy, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in orange liqueur and salt. Remove from the heat.

Presentation:

  • Fold each crêpe in half, then half again to make a triangle. Dip the folded crêpes into the hot orange sauce. Place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining crêpes, overlapping each crêpe so they are facing the same direction.
  • Pour orange liqueur into the skillet with the remaining orange sauce and place over medium-high. If it does not ignite automatically, use a long-stemmed lighter and carefully set the liqueur on fire. Let it burn for about 30 seconds. Pour the flaming liqueur over the crêpes on the platter and serve immediately with ice cream.

Boxty (Celtic Potato Pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup whole milk (plus more if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 lemons (zested, divided)
  • 1/4 cup chives (chopped, divided, about 1 bunch)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup Irish double cream or crème fraiche
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • butter for frying

 

Directions:

  • Cut 2 potatoes into 1-inch cubes.  Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Season with a large pinch of salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 7-9 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to the pot.
  • Add milk and flour, and mash until smooth. Add the zest of one lemon, 2 tablespoons chives, baking powder, and one egg. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Meanwhile, grate the remaining potato. Using a clean kitchen towel, wring the excess moisture from the potatoes. Add the grated potatoes to the mashed potato mixture. Stir to combine.
  • In a large nonstick pan, add a pat of butter and place over medium-high heat. Scoop about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, flatten into a 5-inch disk using the back of a spatula. Cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and season with salt. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the Irish cream, 1 tablespoon chives and the zest of half a lemon. Stir to combine.
  • Serve the boxty with a dollop of cream mixture and garnish with more chopped chives.

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